district miles river tract government
DELHI,I a district of British India under the jurisdic-tion of the lieutenant-governor of the Punjab, situated. between 28° 13' and 29° 13' N. lat. and 76° 53' and 77' 34" E. long. It consists of a strip of territory on the right or west bank of the River Jumna, 75 miles in length, and vatying from 15 to 23 miles in breadth, bounded on the N. by the district of Karnal, on the E. by the Jumna river separating it from Meerut (Mirat) and Bulandshahr dis-tricts, on the S. by Rohtak, and on the leAr. by Gurgaon. With the exception of a low-lying alluvial tract in the north, and a narrow fringe of fertile soil along the river bank to the south of Delhi city, the country consists of stony or hard sandy soil, where cultivation mainly depends upon artificial irrigation. This is supplied by the Western Jumna canal, which has a course of 51 miles in the district; by the Ali Murdan canal, constructed by a celebrated Persian nobleman of that name ; by the new Agra canal ; and by the Jumna river, and a few hill streams. An offshoot of the Mewht hills runs in a north-easterly direction nearly across the district. This offshoot forms a sterile, rocky table-land, from two to three miles in breadth, but nowhere exceeding 500 feet above the level of the surrounding country.
The district population, according to a census taken in 1868, numbered 608,850 souls, scattered over an area of 1227 square miles, showing a density per square mile of 496 persons. According to their religious beliefs the inhabitants are thus classified : - Hindus, 438,886, or 72.08 per cent.; Mahometans, 130,645, or 21.46 per cent.; Sikhs, 580, or '09 per cent.; others, 38,739, or 6.36 per cent. Four towns contain a population exceeding 5000, - viz., Delhi city, population 154,417 ; Sonipht, 12,176 ; Faridabad, 7990; and Balabgarh, 6281.
The principal agricultural products of the district are wheat, barley, sugar-cane, and cotton. In the lands of the northern part, commanded by the irrigation canals, cotton and sugar-cane are the most lucrative staples of the autumn harvest, while jocir (great millet), bc-Uri (spiked millet), and makdi (Indian corn) are grown for local consumption. The spring crops consist of the better kinds of grain, such as wheat and barley, and of gram and tobacco. In some irrigated villages a superior kind of rice is grown, but it nowhere forms a staple product. Cotton cultivation is extending, and a ready market for the fibre exists in Delhi city. The total area of the district is returned at 814,672 acres, of which 525,255 are cultivated, viz., 206,853 irrigated and 318,402 unirrigated. A tract of 1147 acres, set apart by the native rulers as a hunting ground, is now inclosed by Government as a timber preserve ; and other plantations along the banks of the river have recently been formed and placed under the Forest Department. The hills produce good building stone, and a fair kind of marble of two colours, black and grey. A white clay, supposed to be kaolin, is found at Arangpur, Muradpur, and Kasmpur, and has been employed with success at the Government foundry at Rurki for making crucibles. At the first named village is a crystal mine, no longer worked. The East India Railway and the Punjab Railway run trains into Delhi from their junction at Ghazihbhd, about twelve miles distant, while the Rajputana State Railway traverses the district for about twelve miles in the direction of Gurgaon. The Government revenue of Delhi district in 1872-76 amounted to £383,082, - of which £89,036 eras derived from the laud, £264,909 from salt and custom duties, and .C14,086 from stamps. The land settlement is not a permanent one, but for a term of years. For the education of the people Government in 1872-73 maintained in whole or in part 72 schools, attended by 3645 pupils, at an outlay to the state of £7760. There were also 32 unaided indigenous schools, attended by 529 pupils in 1872-73. Three Government dispensaries gave gratuitous relief to 18,303 patients, at a cost of £925, 8s. (1872-73). For administrative purposes, the district is subdivided into three taltsils of Delhi, Larsauli, and Balabgarh. The staff consists of a deputy commissioner, with two assistants and two extra assistant commissioners, a judge of the small cause court, 3 talmilddrs and 3 naib or assistant talisilcicirs, a superintendent and an assistant superintendent of police, and a civil surgeon.
The early history of the district will be found noticed below. In the last century, the Delhi empire fell under the Marhatths, and the emperor Shah Alam became a pensioner of the Maharaja Sindhia. In 1803 Lord Lake broke the Marhatta power. The Mughul emperor was taken under the protection of the Company, and a considerable tract of country, consisting of nearly all the present districts of Delhi and Hissar, was assigned for the maintenance of the royal family. This tract was placed under charge of a British officer as Resident, and the revenue was collected and justice administered in the name of the emperor. The annual allowance to the royal family paid from this assigned territory was originally £100,000; it was afterwards increased to £120,000, and subsequently to £150,000, exclusive of certain crown lands which yielded about £15,000 a year. The emperor received the homage of royalty ; and throughout the assigned territory all judicial decrees were pronounced in his name, and sentences of deaths were referred to him for approval. The fiscal arrangements were under the entire control of the resident. This continued till 1832, when the office of resident was abolished, the tract being annexed to the.. North-Western Provinces, and a British Commissioner appointed to administer it. On the outbreak of the sepoy mutiny in 1857, the whole of the district was for a time lost to British rule, and the southern part was not subdued until after the fall of Delhi city in September 1857. In 1858 Delhi district was separated from the North-Western Provinces, and annexed to the then newly constituted lieutenant-governorship of the Punjab.